The keywords in SEO
For the optimization of your website you need to set up a list of strategic keywords or key expressions for which you want to rank well in the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing).
But, before we go any further, note that SEO is not an end in itself. Actually, ranking well is useless if we do not reach our goals (sales, inscriptions, downloads, time spent on the website…)
Focus on good rankings for a small but well-targeted list of keywords than on a quantity of keywords that do not retain visitors on your page.
Your goal in SEO should be looking for high quality traffic (users who arrive on your website while they were actually looking for what you have to offer them)
The choice of keywords is thus very important.
The choice of keywords
Three major criteria should be taken into consideration when choosing the keywords for which you want to position yourself:
- The amount of traffic generated by the keyword:
This criterion corresponds to the number of times a user types the keyword in a search engine (Google Bing…), all engines combines. In other words, this is the maximum traffic that the keyword can generate for your website but also for other competing sites which rank on the same keyword.
The quality of the traffic generated by the keywords:
This criterion represents the adequacy of your offer (the content available on your website) with the request (the purpose of the user’s visit)
The keyword’s competition:
This criterion refers to the number of websites (competitors) who wish to rank on the same keyword. Remember that there are only ten positions on the search engines’ first page of results. The more websites that want to rank on a keyword, the more difficult the task this will be.
After having presented the different criteria that we must keep in mind when choosing the keywords, let’s see take a look on the different types of keywords :
What is a competitive keyword ?
A competitive keyword is a keyword many webmasters are trying to rank for. And often, it’s the websites with big budgets (reputation, many years of online presence...) which manage to rank well for them.
You will encounter great difficulties when trying to rank on competitve keywords.
Let’s see how we can spot a competitive keyword:
For example, the keyword SEO services is competitive.
- Google returns over 68 million results: a huge number of websites are talking about decoration.
- Many sponsored links also appear on this keyword: many advertisers are interested,
- and the URLs returned by the results are short
As a consequence :
- Too many webmasters are interested in this keyword. The positions are too « expensive »
- on the other hand, these keywords generate good quality traffic on the website
Unless you have some advantage that the others don’t have, it's best to move on to another keyword, otherwise you may spend a lot of energy for getting an average result.
What is a parasite keyword ?
The parasite keywords are the expressions on which many rank by chance. Most of them never made any efforts for ranking on those keywords but their businesses are somehow related to those keywords.
What is more, the internet users type those keywords for various reasons. The traffic generated by these keywords is therefore not qualified.
For example, the keyword "buy" is parasite.
- Google returns more than 22 000 000 results (because many websites deal with this subject),
- There are only 2 sponsored links (it is not very interesting for advertisers),
- the returned URLs (mostly home pages, not very specialized) are short,
- the returned content is not homogeneous (health, environment, parks, beauty products etc.).
As a consequence,
- it is not easy to rank for these keywords,
- they do not generate good quality traffic, because many users type those keywords for various reasons.
Difficult ranking and poorly targeted traffic, then you should try ranking on other keywords.
What is an dropped keyword?
While the parasite keyword sends the users to websites dealing with a very general topic, the dropped keyword sends them to websites dealing with very specific topics which often have less relevance than those belonging to the first two cases described above.
The webmasters whose websites rank on such keywords haven’t generally made any efforts to get there. The pages that we find when making those requests have hardly been optimized for that specific topic.
The chances to rank on those keywords are high.
For example, the following keyword is dropped.
- Google returns more than 5 910 results (very few web pages refer to the subject),
- the absence of sponsored links (it is not interesting for advertisers),
- the returned URLs are long but rarely contain the phrase Definition of lobotomy (they are only apparently specialized),
As a consequence, if your website sticks to this theme, it is an interesting keyword,
- because an affordable effort will allow you to rank among the top results,
- with a very qualified traffic if the theme of the websites returned by Google is homogenous.
What is a niche keyword?
Very few webmasters make great efforts to rank for the niche keywords. But those who rank well on such expressions did not get there by chance, but as a result of steady efforts. The generated traffic is highly qualified. The competition is serious, but the number of players is limited.
For example, the keyword lazy bones, is a niche keyword.
- Google returns 69400 results (few web pages refer to the subject),
- Very few sponsored links (it is not very interesting for advertisers),
- the returned URLs are long (specialized), and most of them contain the sequence lazy bones (very specialized),
- the returned contents are homogenous
As a consequence,
> Few webmasters try to rank on them, but those who do make great efforts to get there and the traffic obtained is very qualified.
If your website sticks to this theme, it is an interesting keyword because an affordable effort will allow you to rank among the top results with a very qualified traffic.
How to recognize the different types of keywords?
A number of details should be checked in order to recognize the different types of keywords.
- the length of the keyword; generally, the longer the keyword, the more specialized it is,
- the number of pages returned by Google,
- the presence or the absence of the sponsored links,
- the form of the URLs, usually short or long, returned by Google,
- the presence of the keyword in the URLs returned by Google,
- the presence of institutional websites,
- the uniformity of the themes of the URLs returned by Google,
How to build your keyword strategy?
It is essential to rank among the top results of the main search engines if you want to be successful on the Internet.
To do this, we must carefully choose the keywords we wish to rank on. Also note that, on the one hand, not all the keywords have the same value, and on the other hand, not all keywords require the same efforts. It all depends on your budget and your ambitions.
You must carefully think about the keywords you want to target because it is on this choice that will later depend the content of your pages, your backlinks and the sponsored links strategy, if you decide to have one
Here are some tips for optimizing your SEO through Keywords.
Target keywords related to your industry
The first step in choosing keywords is to make a list of keywords related to your business, your website, the content of your page. Feel free to complete it with synonyms.
Take the example of a website offering singing lessons. Here are some keywords and their possible combinations: music school, singing school, music education school, siging teacher, music lessons…
Choose your keywords carefully
The more you target keywords the more likely you are to rank well in the top queries. Precise keyword targeting will reduce the number of competitors and will generate a very qualified traffic.
Choose keywords composed of several words
Most research terms used by Internet users have two, three or even four words. Keep this in mind when choosing your keywords.
(See the singing lessons website example given above)
Multiply the good combinations
Prefer phrases over keywords to rank on more keywords and get more potential traffic to your website.
By combining more keywords, you will rank on each individual word but also on that specific expression as a whole.
Multiply the possibilities using synonyms
Increase the number of targeted keywords by using synonyms. Thus, you will rank on more keywords and you will increase the visibility of your pages.
Choose accessible keywords.
You won’t be able to access all the keywords. The accessibility of a keyword depends on your resources (time, money ...) and the potential of the website you are trying to rank with.
In SEO, the background, the history, the reputation of the websites are also very important for good rankings.
Don’t waste time and money trying to outrank big websites, at least not from the beggining. In fact, SEO is a gradual, long-term process. When your website has gained reputation, history and importance, you can target more competitive keywords.
Target the most profitable keywords
The concept of profitability in SEO is measured with the quantity and quality of traffic coming to your website and the time spent to rank for the targeted keywords.
Ideally, you should rank on low competition keywords but which bring much quality traffic.
In practice, it is difficult to find keywords that are profitable and low competition at the same time. You must reach a compromise between the competition for a certain keyword and what the internet users are really looking for.
The keyword « mobile ringtone » is highly sought after, but it will take enormous resources and time to successfully rank for it. Conversely, it is easier to rank well on the keyword "Kurd receipe". The competitive data is not enough but we must make sure that the keyword is actually searched for. To find out if your keywords are searched for, we invite you to visit our pageTools for webmasters.
Do not expect the same level of profitability from a fresh website with just a few pages and a website that has been optimized for a long time with hundreds or thousands of pages.
To achieve your goals, you will have to move forward step by step. On each stage you will have to :
- mark a measurable step forward in transforming traffic,
- increase awareness of your website.
- improve your SEO skills
- and prepare for the next step in which objectives may be revised upwards.
For yor strategy :
- In the short term, choose the most accessible keywords which are dropped keywords (see the definition above)
- In the medium term, if you validate the previous step, you can then approach niche keywords (see the definition above)
- When you have accomplished the above two steps, you can then go further with your ambitions. Your website will get more traffic and will gain popularity.
The free Yakaferci tool for analyzing the keywords on your web pages
Analyze your web pages with our free SEO Page Analyzer :
To start a Yakaferci analysis, simply enter the link to your page in the area above and click the Analyze button. You can then access the different pages of the report, particularly those on the keywords.
Other Yakaferci articles in the SEO section may also be helpful.